The former resident of a Vermont continuing care retirement community who previously admitted to making, storing and using ricin on fellow residents at the community has been sentenced to five years of probation and fined $10,000, the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont said Thursday.
Betty Miller, 70, had pleaded guilty in May to knowingly possessing the toxin. The plea came after a November search of her unit at Wake Robin in Shelburne, VT, during which ricin was found. Wake Robin previously told McKnight’s Senior Living that community officials had alerted local law enforcement after becoming aware of the ricin, and then state and federal agencies, including the FBI, became involved.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI later said that Miller made the poison in her apartment and then tested it on fellow residents by putting it into their food and beverages. No related serious illnesses or fatalities subsequently were reported. Ricin is regulated by the federal government due to the severe potential health threat it poses.
Miller’s sentence will include “extensive mental health treatment,” according to the Justice Department.